Nutrients In Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient goldmine!

One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, all for 70 calories.

While egg whites contain some of the eggs’ high-quality protein, riboflavin and selenium, the majority of an egg’s nutrient package is found in the yolk. Nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin D, critical for bone health and immune function. Eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
  • Choline, essential for normal functioning of all cells, but particularly important during pregnancy to support healthy brain development of the fetus.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are believed to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that develops with age.

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What’s For Dinner Wednesday: Dietary Sources of Vitamin D

Like me, you have probably taken note of the great deal of attention health media give to vitamin D research. It’s no wonder when recent studies suggest that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer and several autoimmune diseases. As a result, many people ask me how they can get more vitamin D out of their diet. I imagine I am not the only health professional to face this question from clients/patients, so I hope this week’s recipe can serve as an example that is shareable with all.

Vitamin D can be found in several dietary sources – the flesh of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel), eggs, fortified milk and fish liver oils. Many people don’t associate eggs with vitamin D when in fact, one large egg contains 10 percent of the daily value. To that end, eggs are an easy addition to many meals to boost vitamin D. Below is one of my favorite quick and easy meals that provides 26.55 percent of the daily value of vitamin D.

Scrambled Egg, Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Panini

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 minutes

Makes: 2 paninis

Ingredients: 

2 EGGS

2 Tbsp Water

Pepper

2 Slices mozzarella cheese (1-1/2 oz.)

4 Slices tomato

6 Fresh basil leaves

4 Slices whole wheat bread

Directions:

1. HEAT panini press according to manufacturer’s directions. BEAT eggs and water in microwave-safe bowl until blended.MICROWAVE on HIGH 45 seconds; stir. MICROWAVE until eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.

SEASON with pepper.

2. LAYER cheese, tomato, basil and scrambled eggs evenly on two bread slices. COVER with remaining bread.

3. GRILL sandwiches in panini press, on medium-high heat, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Add a glass (1 cup) of skim milk and a cup of green grapes for a complete meal!

Nutrition Facts:
For complete meal

469 calories

11 g total fat

5 g saturated fat

2 g polyunsaturated fat

4 g monounsaturated fat

202 mg cholesterol

583 mg sodium

65 g carbohydrate

6 g dietary fiber

29 g protein

1,412.1 IU Vitamin A

2.2 mcg Vitamin B12

159.3 IU Vitamin D

75.9 mcg folate

564.5 mg calcium

3.1 mg iron

997.9 mg potassium

192.9 mg choline

“What’s for Dinner?” Wednesday: Getting your Iron

This week, let’s talk about iron. Iron is an essential mineral for the human body because it helps to make our blood cells. Specifically, iron is needed to make oxygen-carrying proteins called hemoglobin in our red blood cells. It also helps to make myoglobin, which is found in our muscles.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for Iron

  • Males – 8 mg/d
  • Females (age 19-50 y) – 18 mg/d
  • Females (age >50 y) – 8 mg/d
  • Pregnancy – 27 mg/d

For women, pregnancy is an important time for mothers to ensure they are getting enough iron; otherwise babies can develop iron deficiency. Iron is important in organ-system development, especially for the brain. Interestingly, a recent study showed stress experienced by mothers early in pregnancy is another risk factor for iron deficiency in newborns.

Eggs, spinach, lean meats and shellfish are all sources of iron. To get some iron, try a stir-fry for dinner tonight!

Chicken and Egg with Unfried Brown Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 tsp Vegetable oil
1/2 lb Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 cup Sliced green onions
2 Cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Mixed vegetables (sliced carrots, broccoli florets, bell pepper strips, pea pods, sliced cabbage)
4 EGGS
2 tbsp Water
2 cups Cooked brown rice, warm
1/3 cup Chopped fresh basil leaves or cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup Prepared orange ginger or classic stir-fry sauce

Directions:
1. HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. ADD chicken strips; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes until outside surface is browned. Remove and keep warm. ADD green onions and garlic to skillet; cook and stir I minute. ADD vegetables; cook and stir until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile BEAT eggs and water until blended. REDUCE heat to medium. POUR eggs into skillet. As eggs begin to set, GENTLY PULL the eggs across the pan with an inverted turner. CONTINUE cooking until eggs are thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly.

3. ADD brown rice, basil, stir-fry sauce, reserved chicken and vegetables to skillet; stir to combine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Information (Per serving)

Calories: 322
Fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 2g
Monounsaturated fat: 4g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
Protein: 23g
Carbohydrate: 33g
Fiber: 4g
Cholesterol: 222mg
Iron: 2.3mg
Sodium: 276mg
Calcium: 73.8mg

Introducing FUN FACT FRIDAYS! A large, whole egg measures about three tablespoons

Recently, all of us eggheads over at ENC decided to create special weekly blog entries that provide a fun fact about egg nutrition. And so, Fun Fact Fridays was hatched! We hope you learn new things about the incredible nutritional value of eggs and return each week for a new fact!

Did you know a large, whole egg measures about three tablespoons? It’s true!  The egg white makes up two tablespoons of liquid, while the yolk is one tablespoon. Don’t be fooled, though, the yolk is the true powerhouse of the egg as it contains the most nutrients. In fact, egg yolks contain seven vitamins – B6, folate, B-12, A, D, E and K. When it comes to minerals, the yolk also contains the majority of most found in eggs. For example, 93 percent of an egg’s iron is in the yolk, while a mere seven percent is in the egg white. Egg yolks also contain vital nutrients like carotenoids for eye health and choline, a little-known but essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects.

So, the next time you eat an egg, don’t skip the yolk!

Bite Into Breakfast and You May Also Take a Bite Out of Diabetes

Today’s blog post is written by Allison Fischer, Dietetic Intern at Loyola University.

Enjoy!

By now you have most certainly heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There are many benefits to eating breakfast – positive impacts on learning and memory, increased likelihood of meeting daily nutrient intake recommendations, lower BMI, and avoiding weight gain. Another study area is relationship between breakfast consumption and decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes (TD2).

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the relationship between eating patterns and T2D risk in men. Almost 30,000 health professionals were followed twenty years and provided information regarding their medical histories, lifestyles and health related behaviors. Their diets were assessed according to reported foods eaten and dietary patterns based on when and how often they ate daily. Diet quality was reflected as a prudent diet (increased fruit, vegetable, fish, poultry, and whole grain consumption) or a Western diet (increased red and processed meats, French fries, high-fat dairy, refined grains, sweets, and dessert consumption). This information was then synthesized to evaluate health habits and diabetes risks.

Out of all the men in the study, 83% consumed breakfast. These men generally had healthier lifestyle factors – slightly lower BMIs, smoked less, exercised more, better diet quality, consumed less alcohol and more cereal fiber, and drank less coffee. After adjusting for age, there was a 50% greater risk for T2D in men who did not eat breakfast versus the men who did. This was significant even after adjusting for other dietary and T2D risk factors. Even after adjusting for BMI (well known to correlate with T2D risk), skipping breakfast resulted in a 21% greater risk. The most significant increased risk came from skipping breakfast and having a Western dietary pattern, than for each factor separately.

While there is still work to be done to better understand the link between breakfast and diabetes, here is just one more reason to encourage getting the day off to a healthful start. Be sure to fill your plate with healthy foods, including a quality protein, fruits or vegetables, low or no fat dairy and complex carbohydrates. Fuel yourself for a healthy day and a healthy future!

The Egg is Incredible

What makes them incredible? Eggs are one of nature’s most nourishing creations and an Egg A Day is OK for everyone! Eggs are an affordable, convenient source of high quality protein with varying amounts of the 13 essential vitamins and minerals. To top it off they are only 70 calories, so it is considered a nutrient dense food meaning a high amount of nutrition compared to their calorie content. In addition, scientists often use egg protein as the standard against which they judge all other proteins. Based on the essential amino acids it provides, egg protein is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition. All this great nutrition for only 15 cents an egg!

Where are the nutrients in an egg-the white or an egg yolk? Here are some highlights: 60 % of the protein is found in the white and 40 % of the protein is in the yolk. However, many of the other key vitamins and minerals are found primarily in the yolk-choline, vitamin D, selenium, riboflavin, phosphorus, B12 and more. Cholesterol is also found in the yolk, but more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk for heart disease.

Happy Friday and check out the Facebook post from Incredible Edible Egg for a review of the lower cholesterol information as well as a recipe for mini breakfast pizzas.